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Thread: Just a thought

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    Just a thought

    Could an a video game concept artist be promoted to a game designer?
    Has it ever happened before? Because I have heard of graphic artists becoming a game designer but I haven't heard of a game concept artist becoming a lead designer in a game production before but I think it is quite possible since most of them usually have vast knowledge about military history, science fiction, and mythology; and they are damn creative.
    Last edited by PeteJ; December 23rd, 2010 at 05:21 AM.


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    It's not really a promotion. It's more of a... change of jobs. So, if the concept artist in question is qualified to work as a game designer- nothing is stopping him.
    There really isn't a rule about who gets to become what. You can do whatever you're good at. And what you're good at depends on you yourself mostly.
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    Is this common? No. Has it happened? Definitely.

    Tristan Elwell
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    Agreed with Windmaker though I thought it could be elaborated on a little bit.

    The distinction I want to draw here is that designers are more of a 'bridge over troubled waters' kind of role - it's not an entirely different skill set per-se as an artist or a programmer, but you require an understanding of both to manage the different areas of the pipeline - knowing the scope, timeline and budgets that the different departments struggle with, especially if you're working under a Distributor. Game design is NOT a management role, but again, it's good to know your limits when working in a team of people.

    But the crunch of game design is the psychology, the experience, and the flow.
    Your Job as a game designer is to get the player to a Zen like mode of experience, to provide fun. Psychology plays a huge part of how you work your mechanics.

    Although I'll take this time to point out something in your question, which is, if a 'concept artist' can be 'promoted' (They're not promoted at all, it's just a different job in the pipeline.) to the role of 'Game designer.'

    I will accentuate that if you're that good at your job that your ONLY specialty is concept art, and you are employed ONLY for your concept art, then you must be too good at your job to consider being a game designer and switching faculties. Because 3/4s of the time, you're a general all rounder artist - you'll be modeling, texturing, creating particle systems, designing characters, weapons, as well as implementing them and animating them. Only the biggest biggest gaming studios have enough money to pay individual artists for their tightly woven specialties, and you will only be hired if you're better than every other applicant at what you do. If you've gotten that far with your art, why are you wasting time becoming a game designer instead?

    There's a lot more that can be said so I'm going to stop now before I get ahead of myself... just know that it's different skill set.
    Last edited by Beeston; December 23rd, 2010 at 07:41 AM. Reason: Contradicting myself a bit there.


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    Quote Originally Posted by damascus57 View Post
    Agreed with Windmaker though I thought it could be elaborated on a little bit.

    The distinction I want to draw here is that designers are more of a 'bridge over troubled waters' kind of role - it's not an entirely different skill set per-se as an artist or a programmer, but you require an understanding of both to manage the different areas of the pipeline - knowing the scope, timeline and budgets that the different departments struggle with, especially if you're working under a Distributor. Game design is NOT a management role, but again, it's good to know your limits when working in a team of people.

    But the crunch of game design is the psychology, the experience, and the flow.
    Your Job as a game designer is to get the player to a Zen like mode of experience, to provide fun. Psychology plays a huge part of how you work your mechanics.

    Although I'll take this time to point out something in your question, which is, if a 'concept artist' can be 'promoted' (They're not promoted at all, it's just a different job in the pipeline.) to the role of 'Game designer.'

    I will accentuate that if you're that good at your job that your ONLY specialty is concept art, and you are employed ONLY for your concept art, then you must be too good at your job to consider being a game designer and switching faculties. Because 3/4s of the time, you're a general all rounder artist - you'll be modeling, texturing, creating particle systems, designing characters, weapons, as well as implementing them and animating them. Only the biggest biggest gaming studios have enough money to pay individual artists for their tightly woven specialties, and you will only be hired if you're better than every other applicant at what you do. If you've gotten that far with your art, why are you wasting time becoming a game designer instead?

    There's a lot more that can be said so I'm going to stop now before I get ahead of myself... just know that it's different skill set.
    well, maybe let's just say that one concept artist one day decided that he wants the power to control the entire outlook of the game in not only what it looks like, but how the plot goes, and how the game plays. Could that be a possible scenario?

    @Elwell so it has happened? Who is it and how does the game look like? Extremely aesthetic looking like final fantasy?
    Last edited by PeteJ; December 23rd, 2010 at 09:58 AM.

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    You're spinning complicated hypothetical scenarios, the only answer to which is "maybe." I know someone who started off an as artist at Turbine and transitioned over to level design, it was essentially the situation demascus57 described.

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